A Case for the Denver Broncos Adding Chris Johnson


Oct 20, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) eludes the grasp of San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) on his way to a touchdown during the second half at LP Field. The 49ers beat the Titans 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Johnson is one of the top free agents on the market and expected to sign somewhere soon.  Here’s why the Denver Broncos should have interest.

Johnson has never played for a quarterback like Peyton Manning

It’s true that Johnson isn’t the player he was back in 2009 when he dissected defenses for over 2,000 yards rushing.  Injuries and rumors that he’s lackadaisical with his conditioning are possibly what led to his release from the Tennessee Titans.  That and finishing 2013 under 4.0 yards per carry for the first time in his career.  CJ2K is really an enigma.  He often looks so bad during games but then manages to pop a big play or series of plays to impact the scoreboard.  It really does seem like what he lacks is motivation.  Playing year after year for a mediocre team can have that effect.  This is why the Denver Broncos make so much sense for him.  Aside from the fact that they went to the Super Bowl last season, Chris Johnson has never played with a quarterback of the caliber Peyton Manning is.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jake Locker, Vince Young and Kerry Collins don’t even come close.  Aside from his obvious talent, Manning has a knack for getting the most out of his teammates as a leader.  That kind of demand may be what Johnson needs to rediscover the spark that made him so dangerous a few years ago.

Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman lack speed element

This move isn’t just about him though.  The Denver Broncos need Johnson almost as much as he needs them.  Granted they have some solid options at running back in Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman but one element is lacking from both of them:  speed.  There is no true breakaway speed in the Broncos backfield.  In fact there wasn’t any last year when they still had Knowshon Moreno on the roster either.  Having a legitimate home run threat for Peyton Manning to use would only make arguably the best offense in NFL history that much more dangerous.  Ball can be the grinder who totes the bulk of the tough carries and then once the defense starts to wear down, Johnson will be free to come in and take advantage.

If 2014 is the all-in year for the Denver Broncos then they need to take every opportunity to add weapons when they can.  Pairing Chris Johnson with Peyton Manning could be one of the more underrated moves that gives them a second chance at the Super Bowl.